Dangerous Waters The Guernsey Novels - Book 1
By Anne Allen
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Mystery
** Awarded Silver in the 2012 WishingShelfAwards **
A contemporary romantic mystery, Dangerous Waters is the first of The Guernsey Novels
Tragedy seems to follow Jeanne Le Page around . . .
Can she really go through it again and survive?
Jeanne is lucky to be alive … at sixteen she was almost killed in a boating accident which brought heart-breaking family tragedy. Now, fifteen years later, Jeanne returns reluctantly to the island of Guernsey following the death of her beloved grandmother. Struggling for breath as the ferry nears the island, she is overwhelmed by a dark foreboding as hazy memories of that terrible day resurface…
Only returning to sell her inheritance - her grandmother’s old cottage - she has no intention of picking up her old life. But the cottage holds a secret, dating back to World War II, and Jeanne becomes drawn into discovering more. Then, soon after her arrival, a chance meeting with an old teenage crush leads her to thoughts of love.
Jeanne is forced to face her demons, reliving the tragedy as her lost memory returns.
When the truth is finally revealed, her life is endangered for the second time…
The island of Guernsey is so vividly evoked, one feels as if one is walking its byways. An atmospheric and tantalising read. --Elizabeth Bailey, author of The Gilded Shroud
I've never been to Guernsey but I'm determined to go now that I've read this book. It's a book you can settle into and really enjoy, but it's a lot more than chick-lit. There's an intriguing mystery, a finish which had me reading into the early hours of the morning and an insight into what I think of as the back-end of the publishing industry the bit that the reader never sees or even knows exists. It's delivered with a light touch but gives the book real depth. I was impressed. **** --Bookbag.co.uk
Finding Mother: A Family Drama The Guernsey Novels - Book 2
Prepare to be swept away by a heart-warming tale of family relationships and love
Three women. Three generations. Sacrifices for love…
Who is she really? Nicole is about to find out as she searches for her real mother; the woman who gave her away at birth. With her marriage in tatters, she sets out from England: travelling to Spain, Jersey and Guernsey before the extraordinary story of her real family is finally revealed.
Nicole becomes an unwitting catalyst for change in the family. Two women are forced to reveal long-buried secrets. One going back as far as the Second World War. Lives are transformed as choices have to be made and the past laid to rest…
This contemporary romantic drama is the second of The Guernsey Novels, a series of stand-alone books by the award-winning author Anne Allen. It is likely to appeal to lovers of the works of Joanna Trollope and Maeve Binchy.
** Voted Runner-Up in Family Drama 2013 in the SpaSpa Awards **
"A sensitive, heart-felt novel about family relationships, identity, adoption, second chances at love… With romance, weddings, boat trips, lovely gardens and more, Finding Mother is a dazzle of a book, a perfect holiday read." Lindsay Townsend, author of The Snow Bride
"I first encountered Anne Allen when I read Dangerous Waters: Mystery, Loss and Love on the Island of Guernsey and if you've read that book you'll notice a glancing reference to Jeanne, the heroine, in Finding Mother. I felt nicely grounded! In much the same way that Allen wormed Jeanne into my heart I really found that I cared for Nicole and willing her on to make the right decisions and a success of her life. Allen has a real talent for her female characters. The men don't come off the page quite as well, but that's a minor quibble.
Tracing a birth parent when you've been adopted is a sensitive subject and Allen handles it well, recognising the insecurities of the adopting parents who wonder if they're going to be supplanted and the worries of the mother who gave up the child soon after her birth. Will she be judged for her relationship with the child's father and for the fact that she made no attempt to bring the child up herself? There's an added complication here in that Nicole will also find out about her birth father - giving her more parents than any girl should decently want! It's neatly, elegantly done and the story is a real page turner."
The Bookbag ****
The latest page-turner offering mystery and romance from the Award-Winning Author of Dangerous Waters
Two violent deaths. Separated by time, but with a fatal connection…
A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past.
Louisa needs to find the father she has never known, to warn him of possible danger - for them both. Her search takes her from England to Guernsey. Malcolm's journey is more tortuous: conceived in Guernsey, he travels to Canada as a baby with his bereaved mother. Many years later he arrives in India, and from here he is led back to Guernsey to open a health centre at La Folie. This was his father's home, where Malcolm was conceived, but never lived and where his father was killed at the start of the Second World War.
At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice.
Finding her father brings Louisa more than she bargains for, and her life is transformed, while Malcolm learns that life is, after all, for sharing…
I regard Anne Allen's Guernsey novels as an indulgent treat: they're seriously easy to read, with some great characters and a brilliant island location which is used to full advantage: you really feel as though you're there. Allen has a subtle insight into the dynamics of dysfunctional families - the ones with quirks in their history - and the independent people they give birth to. She doesn't fall into the obvious trap of creating unhappiness within the families: both Malcolm and Louisa loved their mothers dearly and grew to be strong people themselves. The hint that their upbringing has left its mark is shown by the fact that Malcolm has never married - and Louisa finds it difficult to believe that the man who has stolen her heart - the manager of Malcolm's health spa - could reciprocate her feelings. There's a neat mirroring of circumstances with both Malcolm and Louisa having a parent killed in the search for the jewels.
There's considerable insight too in the relationship between Malcolm and Louisa. Louisa has always known that she had a father, but Malcolm knew nothing of the existence of Louisa until he was confronted by her. There's a wariness on both sides at first, followed by a steady growth of affection rather than insta-love and it's a relationship you can believe in.
Whenever I read one of Anne Allen's books I'm always disappointed when I turn the final page: the books lift me out of reality and whisk me away to somewhere warm and comfortable. BOOKBAG ****
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The Family Divided The Guernsey Novels- Book 4
One family, divided by death – and money
Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?
With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.
Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey's natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs.
Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…
"Love overcomes and a painful past is revealed in this poignant romance set on Guernsey"
Gilli Allen, Author of Fly or Fall
Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…
1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.
All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake.
Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-
but there’s a price to pay. . .
2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…
Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.
Thrown together in a bid to find out what really happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?
‘A powerful family drama packed full of mystery and intrigue. A stunningly good read.’ A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
For the last three days I have been thoroughly immersed in Echoes of Time, a family saga set in Guernsey. Let me begin by saying how gripping this story is. Not only is the plot packed full of twists and turns, but the setting – and the characters – are lovingly described. There is, I think, nothing better than a novel written by an author who knows how to balance setting, speech and plot.
So, what did I like? Well, the opening chapter, albeit very short, is a real ‘grabber’. I’m very fond of books which open with a ‘BANG!' and not with endless paragraphs of flowery prose. Well, trust me, this opens BIG, hooking the reader in…
I also very much enjoyed the pacing of this novel. The chapters were surprisingly short for this genre and there’s often a cliffhanger at the end of the chapters. So, although it is a family saga of sorts it is also very much a thriller and a mystery, and the style of writing reflects that.
So, would I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely. And who to? Well, pretty much anybody and everybody. If you enjoy a good thriller, this is for you. If you enjoy a complex family saga, this is for you. Or, if you simply love Guernsey, this is for you.
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and 2 small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London - ideal for city breaks ☺
By profession Anne is a psychotherapist who long had a desire to write and Dangerous Waters,her first novel,was published in 2012. It was awarded Silver(Adult Fiction) in TheWishingShelfAwards 2012. Her second,Finding Mother, was runner-up in Family Sagas in the 2013 SpaSpa Awards. The third in The Guernsey Novels series, Guernsey Retreat, was published in 2014 and a fifth, The Family Divided, will be out in June 2015. To find out more about Anne visit her website -www.anneallen.co.uk
You can also find her on twitter - @AnneAllen21
What is something unique about you?
Am not sure if this is entirely unique, but my mother has always maintained I was reluctant to enter this world. Apparently I started my final ‘entrance’ on Monday 10th February, changed my mind a few times, and finally appeared on Saturday 15th – a mere 20 minutes from being a Valentine baby! I’ve always said I must have known what awaited me, hence my reluctant appearance ☺ I’m not someone who like the cold and wet and am much happier in warm, sunny climates, but that February – in the UK – was one of the coldest in living memory and my home town had massive snow falls. They were so bad, the midwife got snowed in with my mother the whole week. I doubt either of them will ever forget that particular birth.
What is something really interesting that’s happened to you? I managed to fall into the engine room of my Dutch barge and dislocate the not-long replaced hip joint. It was pretty scary and horrible painful for me, but the 14 or so firemen and paramedics who turned up to help found it an exercise in ingenuity as to how to get me out, squashed as I was between two engines. No-one – surprise, surprise! – had ever had to rescue someone in these circumstances, and the men in the group huddled together to devise a plan while a female medic kept me pumped with morphine. I couldn’t really see much from the bottom of the engine room, but my son, who had been with me when it happened, later told me what a fuss I’d caused. I only saw a few pairs of feet up in the wheelhouse. It was raining, too and they wanted to protect me from getting wet and put up a tarpaulin, restricting my view even more.
I was down there for about 3 hours all told and they finally hoisted me out on a vertical fabric sling/stretcher which, although clever, was painful! I’ve never been so glad to get out of anywhere. The irony is, I’d sold the barge and my son was checking out the engines before the buyer arrived later that week. He’d left the two hatches open and I’d not noticed and while going to fetch a torch, fell through one.
To add insult to injury the buyer cried off the sale and it took me a further two years to sell. I’d already arranged to rent a house in Devon (the barge was in Bath) and moved anyway. There was no way I wanted to carry on living in the barge after that escapade ☺
What inspired you to write these books? I only set out to write one, initially, Dangerous Waters. I’d loved living in Guernsey so much that I wanted it to be the setting and I had an idea about an old house with a secret – I love secrets, don’t you? And I knew my heroine had suffered a tragedy and was looking for a fresh start. There are elements of my own life in my first book, as I’m sure there are for lots of authors. For me, the process of writing was cathartic and I did find myself in tears once or twice. It didn’t stop me wanting to write another, though, and Finding Mother was published a year after the first. I still hadn’t clicked I was writing a series – duh! – but when I wrote the third, Guernsey Retreat, it became clear I was. Guernsey was always the star ‘character’ and new people popped into the stories, along with old ones. It’s been like writing a family drama, with everyone having their own part to play. And Guernsey is only the size of a medium British town – about 65,000 people – so loads of islanders do know each other.